Manchester United’s Mary Earps and Ella Toone took to the stage at BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Media City tonight alongside their Lionesses team-mates to speak about their victory in the Euros and how it has changed peoples’ perceptions of women’s football in the UK.
As a reel played showing their journey in the competition, Toone and Earps were joined by team-mates Alessia Russo, Jill Scott and Ellen White amongst others as they revisited those celebrations.
The United and England keeper was asked about that decision to dance on the table in Sarina Wiegman’s press conference, a clip that has since gone viral, “I wasn’t really sure the table was going to hold me” she quipped.
When asked how her life had changed since that victory, Ella Toone said of being recognised in the street, “They just shout Tooney about ten times until I answer them.”
She continued, “We didn’t have that many women footballers to look up to so it’s nice to inspire the next generation and long may it continue.”
The Lionesses went on to win Team of the Year in what was a historic night for Women’s sport.
Jill Scott, Queen of the Jungle, mentioned how it would now be normal for little girls to be asking for football boots for Christmas as she grinned from ear to ear.
Whilst accepting the award for Team of the Year, the Lionesses who were present remained on stage as it was revealed that manager Sarina Wiegman had won the award for Coach of the year.
Wiegman made a moving speech acknowledging what her team did for women’s sport this past summer, backing everything up with facts and figures of how many people bore witness to her team’s achievements.
The main award was won by the tournament’s Golden Boot recipient and player of the tournament, Beth Mead who managed to ditch her crutches and walk to the stage despite recently having surgery after rupturing her ACL.
Through her tears she thanked her teammates and family and once again acknowledged the impact this past summer had on young girls.
It was an unprecedented feat and another historical victory for women’s football to be recognised at such a prestigious awards.